Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

Annual Eco-Social Justice Event


#EcoSocialJustice Event Logo

For four years now, PCC has proudly held an annual event focusing on the intersections between social justice and sustainability. The programming of these events have largely been supported by the student funded Eco Social Justice Grant (ESJG). These annual events, and the ESJG are efforts that have been made to broaden the scope of efforts to help create a more socially just and environmentally sustainable school and reality. This year in fact, the PCC District Student Council decided to include an Eco Social Justice Coalition. This means one leader from each campus will now be a part of the collective decision making process in student government. They will also be a part of and have a voice at the table in the Sustainability Leadership Council (SLC).

As you can see, the students of PCC have been working hard to create an ever more dynamic and engaged connection between sustainability and environmental/social justice. Because of this passion and effort, driven by a collaboration of invested students, staff, and faculty, this annual event has been established. The #EcoSocialJustice Event brings together students and student leaders from across PCC to provide a day long, high impact experience.

Below you can take a look back at the various speakers and events that took place.

2019: Jacob Lebel & Coreal Riday-White of Our Children’s Trust

#EcoSocialJusticeEvent ~ PCC Earth Week 2019

Jacob Lebel at #EcoSocialJusticeEvent ~ PCC Earth Week 2019

For the 3rd Annual #Eco Social Justice event, we were stoked to have one of the 21 youth plaintiffs from the Julianna V Gov “Climate Trial of the Century”, Jacob Lebel give a great Keynote followed by a powerful talk from Our Children’s Trusts Community Engagement Manager, Coreal Riday-White. We were also fortunate to have a panel with local artists showcasing the way that art can be a potent form of activism. Asa Wright, Thea Ghar, and Ines Paulina Ramirez had a wonderful panel session and then Wright and Ghar treated everyone to an afternoon of screen printing accompanied by a great DJ set from Ramirez. You can read a more detailed account of this event and a recap of Earth Week 2019!

#EcoSocialJusticeEvent 2019 ~ PCC Earth Week 2019

From left to right: Asa Wright, Thea Ghar, and Ines Paulina Ramirez

2018: Tara Houska

Tara Houska Event

Student Life & Leadership Programs, in a partnership with the Office of Sustainability, hosted its second annual #EcoSocialJustice student in-service training, featuring Tara Houska.

Tara Houska is Ojibwe from Couchiching First Nation. She is a tribal rights attorney in Washington, D.C., and is involved in advocacy on a broad spectrum of indigenous issues. Much of her work is focused on environmental justice and institutional racism. This event is designed to incorporate student leadership teams from the various PCC IBEC Centers (Queer Resource Center, Multicultural Center, Women’s Resource Center, Veterans Resource Center) and ASPCC programs. The event included a great keynote address from Tara Houska as well as a question and answer session.

Teri Fane, Renea Perry, Tara Houska, & Joe Culhane

Teri Fane, Renea Perry, Tara Houska, & Joe Culhane at PCC’s 2018 #EcoSocialJustice Event

For the 2018 event, ASPCC student leaders Teri Fane, the Black Student Union Coordinator, Renea Perry, the Native Nations Coordinator, and Joe Culhane, the Environmental Justice Coordinator co-wrote the grant that helped to fund the event which allowed us to welcome Tara Houska and provide great food and additional activities to be a part of this event.

#PCCEarthWeek2018 PCC Earth Week 2018

Students from the four main campuses each painted a large section of a mural and the completed piece was put together, bringing the four pieces connected as one.

#PCCEarthWeek2018 PCC Earth Week 2018

The final mural and up cycled recycling bin created by PCC student leaders from across the district during the 2018 #ecosocialjustice event

2017: Dr. Marcia Chatelain


marcia chatelain

In #EcoSocialJustice, Dr. Chatelain explored our recent history and current events in our country as a context to better understand the interconnections of racial, social and environmental justice. Looking at the many issues we face – racism, food insecurity, environmental degradation, widening economic disparities, and climate change – how can these movements come together to strategically align for sustainable change? If we are stronger together, how have we failed to collectively mobilize in the past?

Chatelain initiated the #FergusonSyllabus after the death of Michael Brown. She has been featured prominently on CNN, MSNBC, NPR and on other national platforms. Chatelain went to all four campuses to meet and speak with students and student leaders over the course of Earth Week 2017.